Bernkastel turns into party site for annual Middle Mosel wine festival

  • Published
  • By Iris Reiff
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Bernkastel, a famous holiday site, celebrates its traditional wine festival of the middle Mosel Sept. 2-6. More than 30 wine growing towns will participate in the fest, the largest of its kind along the Mosel.

Visitors to Bernkastel, which is the center of the Mosel wine industry, can experience the delicious Riesling wines at one of the town's old wine cellars or enjoy the Mosel hospitality and entertainment offered in hotels, cozy wine taverns, first-class restaurants or traditional coffee houses.

Adventurous visitors can follow a cobblestone path behind the statue in the square, through vineyards, traveling endlessly up. Take your time, snap lots of pictures and take a break to enjoy one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Mosel, with the largest continuously-linked vineyard slopes in Germany.

The Bernkastel Middle Mosel festival starts at 6 p.m. Sept. 2 with concerts by local music associations taking place in various spots throughout the pedestrian area. Things really get going at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 3 with the opening of the amusement ride park and the wine street with wine stands lining the road. The new wine queen, "Mosella Anne II," and the city mayor, Mr. Wolfgang Port, will be available for the official opening of the handicraft art market and the ride park. Free rides will be available then for a limited time. The ride park is located on the opposite side of the city's main market square. Pass the Mosel river via a bridge, and make an immediate left after the bridge. It is a less than a 15-minute walk from the market square.

Various local vintners' bands and horn blowing ensembles from Euskirchen - near Cologne - and the communities of Hoogerheid and Emmen in Holland will be performing music in various areas of the city until about midnight. A rock concert by "Rock am Stock" will feature songs from the 60s and 70s between 8 p.m. and midnight on Karlsbad Platz.

There will be a small farewell for the present wine queen, Catharina II, and an arrival act for the new wine queen, Mosella Anne II, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Sept. 3 in the main market square. Fanfare music and trumpet players, the "Landhut" castle knights' trumpet corps, will play at this time.

Activities will continue Sept. 4 with the opening of the art market at 11 a.m., music by locally popular ensembles and bands throughout the day in the market square and on Karlsbad Platz.
Several European bands will perform in well-known town spots Sept. 4, between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.

The highlight of the middle Mosel wine festival is always a giant fireworks display from the Burg Landshut castle and from the below Mosel shore 9-9:30 p.m. Sept. 4. This event is known as the biggest pyrotechnic spectacle on the Mosel. The Landshut castle, which was built during the 13th century, lies atop a vine-clad hillside.

More music by European groups, wine tasting and fun is scheduled for Sept. 5. Performances will start at the town's Moselland hall and continue all day throughout town.

Another highlight of the Bernkastel fest is a colorful folk parade at 2 p.m. Sept. 5, featuring close to 100 floats, fanfares and bands parading through the city. The parade takes several hours and it offers an excellent opportunity for photographers to obtain a few souvenir shots from the Mosel area.

After the parade, music and dancing will continue throughout the evening, featuring "Bobbin Baboons," performing '50s Rock 'n' Roll between 8 and 11:30 p.m. on Karlbad Platz and the United States Air Forces Europe Band, Check Six, performing from 9 to 11 p.m. in the main market square.

A few activities, including music performances, the handicraft market and rides at reduced prices between 5 and 8 p.m. will be available Sept. 6 at the Bernkastel festival. The event officially ends with a big band concert performing swing and jazz music from 8 p.m.- midnight.

The 45-minute drive from Spangdahlem to Bernkastel along the Mosel River is a scenic route that takes travelers through valleys and winding hills.

With its medieval architecture, Bernkastel-Kues is a favorite holiday site for Mosel travelers and wine connoisseurs. It will be crowded during the weekend so it is recommended arrive early to find convenient parking. Visitors are advised to not bring small children in strollers to the festival.

People must remember to arrange for transportation after consuming alcohol at the festival. Police controls will be enforced Sept. 2-6 in Bernkastel and surrounding areas.